Endorsement: Bridget Maniaci For Mayor

Former Alder has spent years preparing to be Mayor; she’s ready

Mayoral Candidate Bridget Maniaci talks Madison at the Johnson Public House.

Mayoral Candidate Bridget Maniaci talks Madison at the Johnson Public House.

The most important election for Mayor of Madison is not in April when the next Mayor is chosen but tomorrow (February 17) when the Mayor of Madison is chosen. No this is not a riddle, there are five individuals running to be the next mayor including the incumbent. Voters actually have a real choice now, in the primary, in deciding which two candidates will make it to the final round.

Aside from money infecting our politics, the other problem that is degrading our democracy is a lack of participation or even engagement by the voter. This issue is especially acute at the local level where elections have deep and immediate consequences.

We are very lucky in Madison to have this many choices for mayor and we should pay attention as all of them seem to care about the city and many agree on the issues. But only one candidate, in our opinion, will truly love this job like it needs to be loved: Bridget Maniaci.

Continue reading

Galaxie Groundbreaking Celebrates Robust Planning Process

Enthusiasm reigned at event launching long anticipated Cap East development

Key project proponents prepare to ceremoniously initiate the building of The Galaxie. (l to r) Festival Food CEO Mark Skogen, District Six Alder Marsha Rummel, Patrick Stevens, WI DNR, former District Two Alder Bridget Maniaci, Steven Cover, City of Madison Director of Planning, Community, and Economic Development, District Two Alder Ledell Zellers,  Unidentified child, City Of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, Otto Gebhardt Development President Otto Gebhardt III, Architect Chris Gosch of Bark Design.

/a> Key project proponents prepare to ceremoniously initiate the building of The Galaxie. (l to r) Festival Food CEO Mark Skogen, District Six Alder Marsha Rummel, WI DNR Administrator Patrick Stevens, former District Two Alder Bridget Maniaci, City of Madison Director of Planning, Community, and Economic Development Steven Cover, District Two Alder Ledell Zellers, Unidentified child, City Of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, Gebhardt Development President Otto Gebhardt III, Architect Chris Gosch of Bark Design.

In 2013, Gebhardt development won the chance to start from scratch and transform an entire downtown city block; but there were lots of requirements.

The Tenney-Lapham and Marquette neighborhoods yearned for a full-service grocery store. The City of Madison has been clamboring to jump start redevelopment and create a gleaming gateway to downtown and developers have seen great potential for the area.

Tuesday’s groundbreaking event (September 16) marked the beginning of The Galaxie development that will remake the 800 block of East Washington Avenue. The gathering was infused with a heightened energy level because many of the participants that worked on the planning of the project felt that they had finally gotten it right.

Continue reading

Willy Street Fair 2014 Pics & Vids

37th annual Fair bathed in sun and good cheer

The Willy Street Fair, September 14, 2014.

The Willy Street Fair, September 14, 2014.

It was a cloudy start to Sunday but even Mother Nature sensed today was special and the sun emerged as the Willy Street Fair Parade prepared to launch. As it circled through the nine block route in the Marquette neighborhood, the phalanx of fun proved to be one of the largest by way of participants.

Three marching bands at the beginning, middle and end, punctuated appearances by the familiar: stilt walkers, Hoopelation, the circus wheel and the Forward Marching Band; along with new entrants like the Madison Circus Space and the Mustache Beard Wearers Union: Local 608.

Down on Willy Street the thoroughfare filled quickly as temperatures in the middle 60s and possibly a late-afternoon Green Bay Packer kickoff brought people out early. Over 150 vendors filled the curb spaces and the larger presence was notable. The food offerings were diverse and plentiful but the retail booths did not break much new ground.

Continue reading

Interview: District 2 Alder Bridget Maniaci

Madison District 2 Alder Bridget Maniaci. Courtesy: District2MadisonBlog

City of Madison District 2 Alder Bridget Maniaci decided politics was for her after observing then Mayor Dave Cieslewicz run for re-election while serving as his press intern.

After studying journalism for a time, Maniaci switched to politics, completing internships at the State Capitol and with Mayor Cieslewicz.

While exploring journalism she worked for the Capital Times, The Daily Cardinal, and WSUM-FM. Bridget is also pretty good at sailing, serving as Vice-Commodore of the UW Hoofers when she was a student.

 

Maniaci graduated from Sun Prairie High School in 2002 and the University of Wisconsin in 2007 with a degree in Political Science and Economics. She was elected to the Madison Common Council in 2009. Outspoken at times, according to some, but she is energetic about Madison. Maniaci has a rare command of local public policy, with facts, figures, and grounded analysis often at the tip of her tongue…

 

Editor’s Note: When we talked with Ald. Maniaci, funding for ice rinks and lifeguards in the City Budget was still in doubt. The Board of Estimates restored that funding at its meeting on October 22, 2012; with Maniaci supporting an amendment to restore funding for lifeguards. The Budget still needs final approval from the Common Council, which will likely vote on it in November.

 

Budget Cuts Could Sink B.B. Clarke Swimming Platform

Quality-of-life, big city priorities clash during budget process

B. B. Clarke Beach circa 1951. An early version of the diving platform can be seen. Later version paralleled the shore and were located approximately 150 yards off shore.

As the Madison Mayor Paul Soglin prepared his budget for the coming fiscal year he asked all departments to make a five percent cut in their operational budgets. At the Parks Department they arrived at those cuts in part by eliminating and consolidating some very popular services in some parks; specifically the elimination of nine seasonal ice rinks and focusing lifeguard services at regional beaches.

In a city known for year-round recreation probably the most sacred of activities is ice skating and swimming. It is almost a cruel irony that a community whose water-borne identity is intrinsic should have to cut back on this celebrated quality-of-life benefit.  Continue reading